What I love about the New Year is that it’s filled with so much possibility. What I love about the end of the year is the beautiful opportunity to reflect on what went right over the past 365 days and what I can do better in the New Year. I like to get really clear about what I want and put it on paper to make it more real and more achievable.
As a yoga teacher the New Year is one of the busiest times for me. Classes are full and everyone is anxious to make good on their resolutions. Twelve months later in December, only the diehards remain.
So what happens to our New Year’s resolutions between January and December? How can we make them stick?
I’ve spent a lot of time studying how to build good habits and systems and goal setting to help students stick to practice. Here are some ideas for you to improve your practice this year:
Break down what area of practice you want to hone in on this year. This could be meditating, reading sacred texts, chanting, or finishing Primary Series. For example, say I want to have a better understanding of the first two padas of the Yoga Sutras this year.
My daily action is to read a sutra first thing every morning and then to incorporate it into my day. How is this sutra represented in my asana practice? My seated practice? My daily interactions with other people in the world?
There are concrete steps to accomplish these daily goals: I’m going to keep a copy of the yoga sutra on my bedside table. Set a midday alarm on my phone to remind me to consider the sutra in the context of my life. At the end of the day I’ll read the same sutra one more time and reflect on it.
You could do this with any area of practice - or life!
Looking at the whole year can be overwhelming and no one can predict the hurdles that will come up between January and December. By building good habits and behavior around your practice, and falling in love with the process of practicing, then goals have a way of turning into milestones that pass by naturally.
The buddha says that whatever a person frequently reflects on will become the inclination of their mind. Believe that you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have some intuitive wisdom that that’s what you are and a desire to manifest it.
In 2020 I hope you see what’s possible for you.
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